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3FF3 History September 17 Lecture Notes

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Pamela Swett

September 17 Italian Renaissance: Petrarch  Petrarch’s literary influences: o Troubador literature o Classical literature o Augustine  Historical significance: o Revival of interest in classical literature o Fusion of Christian and classical values o Recovery of “lost” classical texts o Renaissance individual  Drawn to the beauty of the language and style in classical texts  Judging it against the medieval scholastic culture; a particular language developed that was sophisticated, highly logical, pedantic, meticulous use of language  Petrarch hated it  Petrarch believed in beautiful writing that was powerful and could evoke emotion, provoke thought  But he believes style without purpose was useless; so the study of rhetoric was valuable when it conveyed truth, a moral truth  Petrarch was drawn to Cicero because he considered him to be moral and who thought deeply about being human and human nature  Petrarch didn’t want to spend time speculating the will of god, he wanted to focus on what we do know or can discover, which is the human function, how to make humans more virtuous  Virtue (in terms of how to be a moral person) and virtu (adopted in the Renaissance, which means how to act/adapt in a certain situation and it is NOT ab
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